Testimonials

I specialise in executive, leadership & career development coaching, bespoke leadership programme design and facilitation, mentoring programmes, mentor and mentee workshops, workshop design and delivery….feedback from some of my clients:

Tim Maycock, Board member & GP Lead, Vale of York CCG
My year of coaching has been a truly liberating and life changing experience. I appreciate that may sound a bit melodramatic, but on reflecting back the experience has been instrumental in certain decisions that have shaped my future life and commitment to stay involved in commissioning. I have a much better understanding of ‘self’ and articulating personal goals, values and motivations has helped provide a grounding that informs my other work
I would recommend Vera to anyone who wants to develop a better understanding of their skills and abilities and how to make the best of them. Coaching provided an invaluable opportunity to explore these areas and build foundations for future development
Vera is a very warm and friendly person, she allowed the conversation to develop as was needed but also managed to keep us on task and produce some meaningful outcomes. I liked the open and frank discussion, coupled with the summarising and feedback from the sessions
Vera has a wide professional knowledge and was able to provide resources to illustrate ideas and areas for further reading and development
A thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding experience
Susan Clark, Partner and Head of Corporate Department, LCF
An enjoyable day. A really valuable way of challenging your thinking and finding real solutions. Having visual tools helped enormously. The focus we had (through your guidance) meant that you came away with specifics and a plan. Participant on Be Bold workshop
Laura Marsh, account manager, Zenopa
Having to think about where I want to be, what my goals are and how I am going to get there was really powerful. Setting the time aside to think about the barriers that were stopping me and how I am going to tackle them has been really useful. Gave me some great ideas of what I need to do to get to the right place. Extremely useful and really enjoyed the day. Participant on Be Bold workshop
Rob Lane, Head of Communication Skills, Leeds Institute of Medical Education
Vera is a knowledgeable and skilled group facilitator able to handle difficult dynamics easily. Vera is an expert in the field of leadership with a sharp strategic mind capable of analysing problems and helping others find solutions.
David Richardson, Chair, Bradford Teaching Hospitals
I always found you to be objective, measured, dependable, and by your involvement, you demonstrated your enthusiasm, commitment and contribution to the continuous improvement of the Trust. You have provided me with support and appropriate challenge in my role as Trust Chairman.
Jo Valentine, Senior Leadership and OD Manager, NHS Yorkshire & the Humber
Vera is an experienced and self aware executive and business coach with good reflective abilities. She prefers a transformational coaching model and is particularly well suited to working with senior leaders and entrepreneurial business leaders. She has worked with both individuals and teams.
She uses supervision effectively, investing time in preparation and using the space to check out questions and concerns about her practice. She has a strong ethical code.
Vera is one of our Regional NHS accredited coaches so have been through our own quality assurance process. I am confident in her abilities as an executive coach and would have no hesitation in recommending her
Julia Clarke, Pro Dean, Leeds University Business School
 Vera has worked with Leeds University Business School to develop and deliver training for our mentoring programmes since 2011 and her contribution to the success of these initiatives has been considerable.
The Nurturing Talent Mentoring Scheme is designed to connect our students with professionals from the world of work. Through these mentoring relationships our students develop their employability, building their own networks and their professional skills.
As we did not have the expertise internally to put a mentoring scheme into operation, we needed somebody to advise on establishing its structure and to provide training to participants.
Vera took the time to understand the specific objectives of the mentoring programme, particularly with reference to the needs of students from backgrounds traditionally under-represented in higher education and to ensure that the training was appropriate to these objectives. The materials were designed so that they were bespoke to the scheme and the training that Vera has provided has been hugely appreciated by both mentees and mentors.
The training has been critical to ensuring that students are able to make the most out of the mentoring relationship. Whilst appreciating the relative informality of the interactions with their mentors, our students really valued the structure that Vera’s training package and handbooks provided for the scheme.
Having benefited from Vera’s skills and expertise on the NTMS for over three years, she was the obvious person to approach when we set up a mentoring scheme for staff. Again, Vera applied her considerable knowledge of the principles of mentoring in ways that were appropriate to the specific case. Academics are probably the most difficult audience in any classroom situation but Vera’s depth of expertise and authoritative demeanour made her a persuasive and effective trainer
Patrick Walton, Managing Partner, Yorkshire Bank, Vera has 20 years of mentoring experience which is evident in her delivery and group leadership. Participant at mentor training workshop
Ross Lumsden, Associate Director Yorkshire Bank, Excellent introduction to mentor training. Fully interactive course with clear outputs to take away. Participant at mentor training workshop
Rachel Davis, HR Director, National Charity
I was looking for something of a ‘sounding board’ / guide to help me work out where I could go next in my working life.  Previously I’d had a somewhat traditional career history of successive promotions to a senior level and felt lost when it came to how to consider, scope and plan where I should go next. Vera helped me express what I wanted to do and what I didn’t want to do.
She helped me critically examine whether my vague ideas were realistic or contradictory given my previously explored likes, dislikes and preferred style.  The truths, when I reached them, were enlightening but also felt achievable.
Vera’s style – facilitative, open and honest – suited to me and how I wanted to work.  She wasn’t afraid to probe and challenge areas I was contradicting myself in and also push for responses where appropriate.  Equally she knew when to step back and accept if the considered response was ‘no, I don’t want to do that’.
I feel clearer about what I want to do next, it’s not what I thought it would be going into the process but I’m encouraged by that in that I really feel Vera helped me sort out the conflict between my dreams and my option realities and that has left me clearer about the future.
I would recommend Vera to people looking for a clear, constructive and realistic exploration of their working life to do and their working options for the future.
Fran Parkinson, Leeds City College
Vera is a highly knowledgeable expert in the field of mentoring and coaching. When we were setting up a new mentor scheme at Leeds City College she provided invaluable advice from her own background of devising and establishing mentoring schemes. She developed some excellent guides and online resources for the process of selecting a mentor. She also has a lovely personable manner – she clearly cares about the clients she works with. It was a pleasure working with Vera and I would highly recommend her work.
Julian Hooker, Training & Development Manager, B Braun Medical Ltd
It was agreed by all that your ‘Leading with empowerment’ day was inspiring, clear and focused and they all came away yesterday congratulating me for a good day – so thank you Vera!
You reinforced a lot of the messages that they were well aware of but not practising and the way in which you delivered and got your points across made them realise that some change is required. Consequently even those most sceptical in the past seem motivated to at least start to do things such as giving regular feedback and adopting much more of a coaching approach. I will keep you posted.
 Alyson Harding FInstLM, CharteredMCIPD, Associate IFL, Bradford Chamber of Commerce
I have known Vera as a work colleague for over 5 years and she has provided coaching and training on behalf of Bradford Chamber of Commerce in leadership and management for the commercial customer base. She has covered topics including strategic planning, leadership, management, developing teams and designed and supported Action Learning activities
Vera has also been a very important member of the delivery team for the ILM in Leadership and Management providing tutor and assessor roles in these programmes.
 Vera has always provided a professional service for the Chamber, supporting and challenging the learners to help them apply the new knowledge to their roles and to support them in writing assignments, providing constructive feedback throughout the learning opportunities. Vera is always well prepared, uses different delivery styles and is proactive in growing and developing her own knowledge for the benefit of her learners/clients.
 Zoe Nicholl  Organisational Development Facilitator, York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, 
Vera is a very warm and friendly person and she made a nervous group of people who were apprehensive about getting back into academic writing – conquer academic writing!!
Vera provided really clear and constructive feedback on assignments which enabled me to take this learning and apply it as I continued through the programme.
Vera made herself available for support individually and the turning point in my confidence in writing assignments came after a telephone conversation with Vera that left me feeling empowered and encouraged!
Vera shared her knowledge and experiences freely with us, offering challenges to our thoughts and perceptions. Vera role modelled a coaching style approach within our tutorials.
Each tutorial meeting felt warm, friendly, fun and supportive.
It was a lovely thing to turn around on graduation day to see Vera sat behind us with a huge smile and full of congratulations for our achievements!! Thank you Vera!
Michelle Hodgson, Director at Key- Words
Vera has been an excellent mentor, offering practical business expertise common sense advice and plenty of encouragement. Her sound advice has prevented me from making a lot of mistakes as I set up and started my business and her ongoing enthusiasm and support has helped me to develop my business in the right direction. Vera is up there with the best in business and I consider myself very lucky to have been able to benefit from her knowledge and training, as well as her generosity in giving up her time and expertise to help me. I would definitely recommend her services to anyone looking to develop and improve their business.

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